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Monday, April 28, 2014

Things Change

                         Things Change

       There are some things in our lives we wish we could get a do over on.  In most of those situations it is not going to happen.  Mine is a tattoo that says “This to shall pass.”  It was the only thing I could think of that I had always found to be true in my life. Unfortunately for me, I had only heard it and never read it. All things change with time.  Hopefully that tattoo will, sooner or later, be changed into an emblem like the Christian fish symbol. It has that basic shape and will be an easy fix. Yes I know it should be too, instead of to, but I didn’t when I did it.  I claim poetic license. I have been wrong most of my life, so it fits.

    It reminds me daily of my error in judgment and to take time to understand things before I plunge ahead. As a licensed skydiving instructor that is something I definitely understand the consequences of.  Over the course of almost seventy years of life I have found that as soon as you become content and at peace with the situations you find yourself in, your life is about to change. In fact it may alter the whole course of your life.

    The last ten years of my working life I was an owner/operator of my own truck.  While that was one of the greatest Blessings in my life it came to an end only after I resigned myself to my situation.  I started with virtually nothing but a desire to serve the Lord. The Lord kept me operating even with the many mistakes I made over the years.  The final three years I finally got it together and was finally making money, getting in shape, (I lost 90 pounds) and living and almost debt free lifestyle. Finally after ten years I contented myself that I was doing what the Lord had called me to do.

    That was when I had the big one and not only died, but lost my commercial driver’s license and was forced into an early retirement. After selling my equipment and making some adjustments we managed to survive with the disability check I received.  I was fifty-seven at the time.  It had been a hard thing to adjust to and confused me at times. Yet in retrospect I realize the Lord’s hand was working in it. My youngest daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor and fought it for seven years. Because I was on disability we were able to spend much time together. We spent time together traveling to from appointments. We became closer because of our understanding of the delicate and fleeting nature of this thing called life. It made us both learn to appreciate every moment of this gift God had given us, called life. She went home to be with the Lord in 2010.

     My final job before becoming an owner/operator had been almost a dream job.  At least it was from some trucker’s perspective.  I was home every day for part of the day. I had to work six days a week, but I had a lot of freedom to adjust and set my own schedule around things I wanted to do.  It was toward the end of this five year period that I resolved myself that this was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. That changed the day before Thanksgiving 1993. I pulled into the yard where I worked and backed up to the dock. My boss met me as I got down out of my truck and said, “You don’t have to worry about coming in Monday.  We are closing the doors and going out of business. Thanks for your service. I will give you a good reference wherever you decide to go.”

     The irony in this was that only a couple months before I had decided this is where I really belonged and wanted to be. When I came to the company I was working for that was not the case at all.  I was totally fed up with trucking and was in the unemployment office and telling them I did not care what kind of job they had.  I would take it as long as it did not involve driving a truck.  Under much pressure from the guy at the unemployment office I agreed to an interview. The owner and I hit it off from the start.  We were both Vietnam vets.

    I had learned to drive a truck in Vietnam while on TDY(temporary duty) and had not wanted to do it. Yet 90 days later I was considering terminating my jump status and becoming a trucker full time if that is what the Army wanted me to be.  It was when I reached that point of resolving myself to my situation that the Tet Offensive started and I was shipped back to my unit so I could do the job the Army had trained me to do.  Rigging supplies for parachute drops to units that were cut off, and believe me that was most of the units in Vietnam at that time.

      It would be easy to give half a dozen more of these scenarios, but they are not the point.  The point is that often we have to quit fighting God and trying to do things the way we want to do them and let him work through us to accomplish His Will in our lives. God has always prepared my paths. Even the ability to write this comes from an experience the Lord opened the door too.  I spent my last year in the Army in Panama and writing articles for the command newspapers the Bayonet Banner and the Southern Command News.

     The point of writing this is that I find myself in one of those situations again where I am totally satisfied with my life or willing to accept it as God’s Will for me. In October my pay was quadrupled when I received my settlement for Agent Orange from the government.  After struggling for almost ten years I decided to sell the remainder of my assets and get rid of the balance of my bills and live within my means and be content with my situation. A couple months after reaching that point I received the Agent Orange settlement.

      The windfall was used to get our affairs in order, buy our cemetery lots, do our wills, surveyed our land to transfer part of it to our daughter. Yes I splurged and even bought a new used car.  Then suddenly a Déjà Vu feeling hit me and I realized why.

      If you read my free book A Little Further Down the Path on my blog in seven parts. My biography tells of an experience I had.  The old saying is, “You get lucky before you die.” I don’t feel it is luck. I feel it is a Blessing and the sum of my life experiences makes me feel the Lord simply opened the door for me to serve him in a new way.  The vision/dream I had in January 1967 is still real to me.  While I could die before I get out of this chair. Having been bought back twice already I know that to be a true reality, I believe I will see in real life what I saw in that dream.  If I do I will still be standing here on this earth when the Lord returns.

   The point of writing this is that with my present health issues and my Biblical understanding it is my belief that a resolution to the matter is near. If I am right I pray for time to convince those I love to make peace with God.  If I am right in another way, I am glad that I am at peace with God.  The question is, am I about to start a new adventure in life, or going home.  I am at peace with whichever the case may be.  Thanks for taking the time to read this. May God touch your life in a special way.

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